A menstrual cup, when taken care of carefully can last for even more than 10 years! When cleaning a cup, there are 2 different categories of care. The daily cleaning, which is done everytime the cup is taken out. And the periodic cleaning, which is done either at the end of your period, at the beginning, or both.
Daily cleaning is simple and quick, just to get the fluid out of your cup. Some people choose to simply rinse with water then reinsert. Others wipe with toilet paper, then reinsert. Most people wash with water and a mild, fragrance, and color free soap. When cleaning the cup, make sure the air holes at the top of the cup are not clogged! This will make the cup extremely hard to pop open. In order to unclog these holes, simply roll the top of the cup between your fingers and push something very small into the hole. If you have water nearby, you can fill the cup with water, put your palm on top (to form a seal), turn the cup upside down, then force the water through the little holes. Daily cleaning is done everytime the cup is taken out in order to clean it before the cup is put back into your vagina.
When cleaning your cup in public, some women choose to wipe with toilet paper, and others choose to carry a small water container to wash the cup with. Whatever you do, do NOT use toilet water!!!! That is unhygienic and can cause infections to occur. Cleaning your cup in public can be easy and comfortable once you get used to it.
Periodic cleaning can be done either at the beginning or your period, at the end, or both. For this type of cleaning, most women choose to boil their cup for about 2-5 minutes. For boiling your cup, you must be very careful that there is enough water so that the cup does not touch the bottom, or the sides of the pot. Some cups are not meant to be boiled (such as the keeper cup, which is made of latex). For women who cannot boil their cup, or chooses not to, you can use hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. Both has been proved safe for the cups. Simply soak a cotton ball with either of the products and sweep over the cup, inside and out. Do not soak your cup in a solution of hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol! This has been proven to shorten the lifespan of the cups. Also, some cups can be placed in denture cleaning tablets.
Check with your manufacturer for detailed instructions on what not to do.
For storing your cup, you should never put it in an air-tight container. This will encourage mold growth. Put it in a satiny pouch (that is usually provided with most cups) or in a breathable bag. This is the safest place to store your cup as you wait for your next period! Also, the pouches the cups come with are very cute and stylish, so carry them around everywhere, waiting an unexpected period!!